- Associated Press - Friday, December 26, 2014

WILLISTON, N.D. (AP) - Williston early next year will ask developers about their interest in the city airport site, as officials look toward a possible new airport in a different location.

Beginning Jan. 4, the city will spend four weeks weighing the interest among developers in the 800 acres of land at Sloulin Field International Airport, the Williston Herald reported (http://bit.ly/1rnYI2u ). The area is about 1 ¼ square miles.

“We are not getting into any of the nuts or bolts, design or sale,” said Shawn Wenko, the city’s economic development director. “We are seeing who is interested and see … if there are some qualified individuals out there.”

Traffic and passenger boardings have boomed at the airport along with oil development in the region in recent years. Flights are offered to Minneapolis, Denver and Houston. United Airlines added the Houston flights in August to accommodate oil traffic.

Boardings at Sloulin this year have surpassed 100,000 passengers for the first time, according to the North Dakota Aeronautics Commission. The airport was designed to handle only one-tenth of that traffic, according to Manager Steven Kjergaard.

Williston officials are considering a $250 million airport at a site 11 miles northwest of the oil patch hub. Mayor Howard Klug said there has been a lot of discussion about the airport plans and “it’s time to move forward.”

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Information from: Williston Herald, http://www.willistonherald.com

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